Wednesday, October 5, 2016

2016 S.C. Tree Farm Field Tour and Awards

Stuart White, Jeff Dennis and Bob Franklin are
three cogs in the Tree Farm system
The American Tree Farm System is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. After the national program was founded in 1941, the S.C. Tree Farm program began signing up members in the 1950, and that recruitment continues today. The 2016 annual awards and field tour was held Thursday September 29 in Richland County. Award winners and attendees came from all around the Palmetto State, and Colleton County garnered recognition for a variety of Tree Farm participation.
Guy Sabin with SCFA and Billy Cate
Each year several Tree Farmers are nominated for the annual honor of becoming the South Carolina Tree Farmer of the Year. The 2015 winner Billy Cate hosted the 2016 Field Tour at his Buckeye Tree Farm in Eastover. There are several Tree Farm regions in the state, and Green Pond, S.C. is home to Joe Hamilton, the District 12 Tree Farmer of the Year, and the 26-acres he manages are planted in Loblolly pine trees. 

The 2016 Tree Farm awards also recognized family farms that have been enrolled in the program continuously for 50 years. A list of about 20 landowners were assembled, with many of the tree farmers present to receive a special Tree Farm sign to display at their property. These families were asked to share a story from their experience as land managers, and one by one they took turns expressing appreciation for their ancestors who cared for the land before them.    

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about S.C. Tree Farm click on 2016 Lobby Day - 2014 Tree Farm Changes2012 District 12 Winner - 2010 Volunteer of the Year 

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